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Saturday, July 07, 2001



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`Reforms have failed to help the deprived'

Our Bureau


THERE is a crisis between the perception of goals of the middle class and the reality of the 35 crore people living below the poverty line and it is high time that efforts are made to bridge the huge gap, said Mr Pavan K. Verma, High Commissioner Designa te to Cyprus.

The magnitude of the problem is mind-boggling and one of marginalisation of the one-third of the country's population and not of globalisation, he said at a meeting on ``Perception vs reality: The challenge before the middle class''.

Mr Varma said 1991 was a landmark year as it created a new paradigm of economic vision but the impact of the policies adopted then was such that it had widened the gulf between the haves and have-nots. The achievements in the last five decades continued to embellish the middle class perception and as a consequence, the better-off sections were unwilling to pay attention to the plight of the deprived classes.

The exponential growth of consumerism had given ample scope for the rich and middle classes to find myths to justify their line of thinking. The solution lay in identifying self-interest with the social good, be it for the politician or the businessman, he said.

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